Mindfulness… Living in the Moment Nora Cristall MSW RSW Gloria Dixon MSW RSW Alzheimer Society Manitoba Conference 2007
Mindfulness • Choosing the object of attention.
Assumptions • Stress is a part of life. It is often the source of pain. • Through awareness we have greater impact on outcomes. • The greater our ability to control the impact the greater our chances of liberating ourselves from the impact. • Often our mind and body, and the connection, is the only tool we have.
Mindfulness and Health • Behavior therapy and cognitive therapy, involve changing the cognitive processes a the mind to impact physical changes.
Obstacles • Liking and disliking. • ‘Love is blind’. • Stereotypes.
Mindlessness • Acting from only one point of view. • Ego, being right, gets in the way. • Automatic behavior. • Feeling hopeless / There is no other way. • Maintaining status quo.
Becoming Mindful- STOP • S top. • T ake a moment. • O bserve body sensations, thoughts and emotions. • Proceed. Listen deeply. Take the next step.
What I express may not be what I am really feeling? Feelings have access to inadequate language sometimes. It is protective of our “selves” to hide what we may really feel behind another emotion or expression. “We are not our feelings….”
Reflection: Thinking on Purpose • Reflective thinking is not idle or aimless. • Who do you see in the mirror? • What do you think others see? • What do you want to see?
Reflection Exercise • Write down the moment that you are thinking of. • What was said, what was happening, who was involved, how did you feel, how did you think the others felt? • What was the need that was being expressed? • How did or could you acknowledge the unspoken….how to meet the need and capture the moment….?
Principles for Hearing Emotional Content: (Suchman et al, 1997) • Recognize the cues that people give about the hidden emotion. • Ask them to expand on their feelings. • Acknowledge their feelings so that they know they have been heard. • When we listen, we will learn what the need, problem or illness means to the client and their family.
When humor is a screen….. (Sparks, Travis & Thompson, 2005) • Help caregivers feel comfortable in the situation and with you. • Recognize that humor may be a way to communicate some other piece of information. • Try to understand the message in the context of what they are saying to you.
When humor is a screen: • Remember the topic being discussed when the conversation turns to humor. • When you hear the humor, ask for additional information. Be aware that the story may be important to the teller for reasons that you may not fully understand. • The teller may not be aware of the humor being used. Watch for verbal / non-verbal cues of distress or discomfort.
Ask gentle questions that give the teller a chance to provide the unstated feelings and facts behind the humor. • Laugh or smile with the teller when it is appropriate. • Be careful not to lose the opportunity for “a moment” by getting drawn into a social exchange of funny stories. • Remember the humor may be a tool for the teller.
Capturing the Moment: • What are the ways that you like to capture a moment with residents and their families?